NVAHA 15 – Accomplishment #3 (2005, 2018): NVAHA Advocates for Financial Resources at the Local Level to Support Housing Production
NVAHA led two important advocacy initiatives to raise resources at the local level to support affordable housing production. The first was a 2005 campaign for the creation of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund for Fairfax County. This campaign laid out the chronic shortage of housing in the county; outlined the benefits of having a dedicated revenue source; what it would mean for residents struggling with increasing rents; and articulated the impact that inadequate housing would have on the community. NVAHA pushed for a dedicated revenue source that would provide funding for preservation of existing market-affordable housing. The resources would ultimately result in the preservation of 4,000 units over a 4-year period.
The second initiative, in 2018, urged the Alexandria City Council to support a 1% increase in the meals tax, a move that would generate approximately $4.75 million annually to support the production of 65-75 long-term affordable units each year. An analysis of the proposed increase showed that a modest 1% increase (from 4% to 5%) would not negatively impact restaurant sales, and it pointed to the fact that up to 68% of those who dine in the City are non-residents. Alexandria is the only jurisdiction in Northern Virginia with a dedicated source of revenue for housing, supporting additional housing production and providing certainty to the development community of the City’s commitment to affordable housing.